I figured this would be a good day for streamers. Yesterday’s rain would elevate the flows (just over 400cfs in the permanent TMA) and maybe give the water a little color. Then there was the wind, supposed to be gusting to 30mph. Throw in temperatures nearing 50, and yup, we’re going to spend the day targeting big browns on the feed.
But since I’m an iconoclast, I started off by nymphing. I had a few experiments I wanted to conduct with egg flies. (You may remember I spoke with a centerpinner Monday who caught over a dozen on eggs.) I wasn’t sure if he was using real eggs, flies, or beads. Since I was going for the eggy mass visual, I tied up a couple horrible flies last night that were basically Nuclear Eggs with a trailing 8mm trout bead. To convince myself that the pattern qualified as a fly, I put a soft hackle on one. I stuck two fish, but since I landed neither, I couldn’t tell if they took the eggs or the nymph dropper. (Dammit. I really wanted to know.) I’m going to continue research with some smaller hooks and beads at a later date.
A pretty brown that swiped the Deep Threat, missed, then came back for more.
I dedicated an hour to the nymphing cause, then re-rigged for streamers (full-sink integrated tip and a size 6 Deep Threat in grey/olive). Nothing, nothing, nothing. Then I moved downriver about 50 yards to fish a long, slow, deep stretch of water I was sure held fish.
Second cast, mend, slow strips, THUD. I love big browns. They just never miss. It feels like you’ve hooked a submerged log, but the log is shaking its head at you. I could tell it was a good fish. And it was. Just over 18″, and very disagreeable about being forced from the comfort of its lie.
Ever notice that no one ever catches a 17″ trout on the Farmington? Somehow, the fish grow to 15″, then suddenly shoot up to that magic universally-accepted-as-impressive number. However, I can confidently tell you this brown was duly and accurately tape measured at just over 18″.
I fished four pools today and found players in two of them. All I ask from the river in winter is one trout. That makes today my Christmas bonus.